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Ramkissoon: ‘I have confidence in Howai’s abilities’
Senior Economist at Republic Bank Limited (RBL), Ronald Ramkissoon has expressed confidence in the appointing of former chief executive officer, First Citizens Group, Larry Howai, as Finance Minister. Ramkissoon was speaking yesterday, to reporters after the Excellence In Business Forum 2012, which was hosted by the Business Development Company Limited at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad hotel, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain.
The theme of the forum was entitled: Bridging the Gap—Managing the Generations in the Workplace. Ramkissoon said: “I have confidence in his (Larry Howai) abilities, his years in banking and if he can bring that training and experience to expenditure, to revenue generation, to a reduction of the deficit, to an increase in allocations to capital expenditure, rather than recurrent expenditure, I think we are going to be on a good growth path.
Though the challenges are “going to be great” Ramkissoon said, Howai should: “stand his ground in terms of good economic policy. “I would hope that Mr Howai would be a stickler for proper economic management, to proper banking rules and that kind of prudent financial management,” Ramkissoon said.
On Monday, Howai was sworn-in as Finance Minister. Referring to oil prices, Ramkissoon said there are oil fields which are stagnant and must be put to use. “I am concerned that we are not doing enough to bring existing fields on board, this is in respect of what Petrotrin is doing. In other words we have no sources of oil, what we need to do is put in place the investments that would bring those fields back up to production,” he said.
There is need to pay attention to the management of our energy resources, “if we are going to get larger investments and if we are going to get a constructive conversation going between the gas suppliers and the downstreamers,” he said. Yesterday prices fluctuated between small gains and losses. Benchmark US crude added US$0.15 to end the day at US$79.36 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Commenting on the economy, Ramkissoon forecasted that there would be growth in T&T’s economy. “We still have a cushion of comfort in terms of T&T’s per capita (Gross Domestic Product) GDP, foreign reserves, low unemployment that we have built up over the years. It is not a time to lose hope, it is a time of action to preserve and extend the gains that we have made over the last 15 years,” he said. Ramkissoon added if T&T wants to see growth, there is need for T&T to work on getting capital projects going.
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